A five women collective journey into their inner-dimensional planes of creativity
Curated by Nitza Tufiño

January 22 – March 5, 2016


Artist Talk Thursday February 4

Taller Boricua Gallery is inaugurating 2016 with “ESSENTIA” on January 22, 2016, at 6PM, that will feature established African-American and Puerto Rican-identified visual artists based in New York State.
They are Ada Pilar Cruz, Helen Evans Ramsaron, Maria Dominguez, Marina Gutierrez, and Robin Holder. This five women exhibit has been described by Nitza Tufino, curator, as a collective journey into their inner-dimensional planes of creativity. The exhibit will present each artist’s perspective on the essence of their work and the issues that have been important for them throughout their lives. Their unique stamp as award-winning artists reflect their sense of urgency utilizing art as a tool of education and a weapon to express their vision for a world of social and environmental justice.
Issues of identity and culture, gender equality, global warming, community activism and peaceful co-existance stands out in their work.
“Essentia” on view from January 22 to March 5, 2016 will also be celebrating these artists during March, Women’s History Month. A panel discussion with all five artists will be held on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 6PM.

Ada Pilar Cruz 

is a sculptor and a Lecturer/Educator of Fine Arts. She teaches as a Lecturer/Educator of modern and contemporary art at MoMA‘s education department where she has been since 1994. In 2008 she joined The Drawing Center, as Lecturer and Educator with Family Programs where she gives workshops about contemporary drawing. As an artist, she recently had three exhibitions of her sculptures: Seeing Double, at Buster Levi Gallery in November, 2015; Retablos, at The Marina Gallery in July 2012; and Clay Memory, at Rio II Gallery, NY in April 2011.  She also creates sculptural installations with Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm annually since 2008. She is a member of the Buster Levi Gallery (formerly The Marina Gallery) since 2010.

Helen Evans Ramsaran

My present series of work addresses my growing concern about the planet earth and its atmosphere. I call the series, Extinction: Signals of Alarm. These works, I have created using white clay, comprise many tiny, individual sculptures that have been aggregated to form one large piece. This method of working is meant to suggest the millions and billions of years of evolution of earth’s species of plants, animals and marine life.

Maria Dominguez

Maria Dominguez received her BFA degree from the School of Visual Arts in 1985 and she began her visual arts career as an intern for the Citiarts mural workshop both in NYC. This led to the creation of numerous community murals and ultimately to her The Metropolitan Transportation Authority commission. “El-Views” (2002), is a permanent art piece, which can be viewed at the Chauncey Street station in NYC, Brooklyn,

Dominguez’s personal works has been included in a number of solos and group shows throughout the United States, Japan, Italy and Africa. Awards merited for her artistic efforts include: The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts.  Her background also includes being artist educator and arts administrator and once headed the Education Department for El Museo del Barrio for seven years in NYC.


is a multidisciplinary artist from New York City with a practice that combines community based work, public and studio arts. Her work interweaves historical, individual and ecological narratives often adapting folk forms and using post industrial or recycled materials within a conceptual framework. Her ongoing EnAquA-Memoriam series ranges from sculptural installation and video to interactive performance and the alchemical precipitation of images using sea water.

She’s recently exhibited in CARIBBEAN: Crossroads of the World at the Queens Museum (NYC), Kréyol Factory at Parc de la Villette (Paris), at El Museo del Barrio (NYC) and created a solo installation at Project Row Houses (Houston,Texas). She is the recipient of Joan Mitchel, NYFA and Mid-Atlantic Fellowships, L.M.C.C.’s Swing Space, Governors Island residency also a Rotunda Gallery/B.C.A.T Multi-Media residency, and two N.Y.C. Arts Commission Design Awards for public projects in East Harlem’s De Burgos Center and Prospect Park’s Imagination Playground. Gutierrez is also co-author of “ART/ VISION / VOICE Cultural Conversations in Community.”

Robin Holder

Robin Holder’s work focuses on issues of identity and culture. She has been featured in one person exhibitions at the Mobile Museum of Art, The Spelman College Museum and The David Driskell, the American Labor Museum and The North Carolina Central University Art Museum. She was awarded an Individual Visual Artist Grant by The Brooklyn Arts Council and interviewed for the Hatch Billops Artist and Influences Archives. She has been filmed by Educurious, The Artist Archive, The New York Foundation for the Arts, Le Point, And the Women Gather, The New York Foundation for the Arts, New Times Holler, WBAI, AMCTV. She has completed several site specific public art installations.
Holder’s is included in significant collections including the Library of Congress, Con Edison, Xerox Corporation, Yale University, United Parcel Service, The Washington State Arts Commission, and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.